Ishwar Pokhrel, the Deputy PM and Defence Minister of Nepal has stated that the Himalayan nation seeks to resolve ‘border issues’ with India through dialogue and there is no sense in deploying the Army.
We will solve the border issue through dialogue with India, it is our consistent point. There is no sense in deploying the Army: Nepal Deputy PM and Defense Minister Ishwar Pokhrel pic.twitter.com/XFKvvvPQ4V— ANI (@ANI) June 9, 2020
According to reports, Nepal had reportedly sought foreign secretary-level talks with India via video conferencing to discuss the ongoing tensions between the two countries. However, it was reported that India may not participate in the talks as Nepal is adamant on continuing with passing the second Constitution Amendment Bill to give legal backing to the new maps, which had claimed parts of the Indian territory.
Nepal’s sudden ‘border issues’
The tensions between the two countries are on a rise after New Delhi inaugurated a road linking Kailash Mansarovar via Lipulekh on May 8. Nepal had raised objections to India over the construction of the new road.
On May 20, the Nepalese government headed by KP Oli had released a new map of the country, in which it had included Indian territories of Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani as parts of Nepal. KP Oli, who is heading the Nepal Communist Party-led government in the country, had made irrational claims against India by asserting that Nepal would “bring back at any cost” the Indian territories of Kalapani-Limpiyadhura-Lipulekh area.
Oli’s government trying to get parliament’s nod
Perhaps acting at the behest of China, the Nepal government had brought a constitution amendment bill at the Parliament on May 22, seeking to amend Schedule 3 of the constitution to update Nepal’s political map in the national emblem.
However, as the constitutional amendment required a two-thirds majority, the Nepal government had fallen short of numbers in the lower House compelling it to seek support from other parties. The main opposition Nepali Congress party had sought time for discussion on the issue and on May 27 the KP Sharma Oli government deferred its plan to move the constitutional amendment.
In the latest development, it is being reported that Nepal has fast-tracked the process of bringing the constitution amendment as KP Sharma Oli’s government has secured the support of opposition Nepali Congress and is likely to pass the amendment with the required two-third majority on June 9.
Pokhrel’s earlier remarks
Nepalese Defense Minister Pokhrel had earlier reacted strongly to Indian COAS General Naravane’s statements. He had claimed that the Nepali army is ready to face any challenges. He had also accused India of ignoring Nepal’s claims over the border issue. He had also attempted to incite the Gorkhas fighting in the Indian army by claiming that the Indian COAS’ statements might hurt the Gorkhas.